Pumpkin Muffins with Orange Glaze

For many of us, the return of fall means one delicious thing: the ability to indulge endlessly in everything pumpkin. It begins with the decadent (and sometimes controversial) Pumpkin Spice Latte, continues into pumpkin pies, and then spills over into cookies, breads, cupcakes, soup, donuts, and of course muffins. Whether you are Team Pumpkin or Team Pumpkin Spice (or Team What’s the Difference?? *note: everything), you can’t get through the season of orange without a little pumpkin in your life.

I am Team Pumpkin Spice all the way, meaning that I love the flavours in the pumpkin spice mix far more than I love the taste of actual pumpkin. However, these muffins were a fantastic compromise for both flavours. The adults and the children in our house loved these flavourful little guys. Give them a try!

 

Pumpkin Muffins with Orange Glaze

DAIRY FREE, GLUTEN FREE OPTION, NUT FREE, SCHOOL-SAFE

2 cups 100% pure pumpkin puree

1 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp cloves

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour (or GF flour)

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

ORANGE GLAZE (optional)

½ cup icing sugar

¼ tsp finely grated orange zest

4 tsp orange juice

 

  1. Heat oven to 425F. Grease/spray mini muffin and/or standard cups. (Yields approx. 24 mini + 9 standard)
  2. In medium saucepan, bring pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves to a simmer until the puree thickens (about 5-10 minutes).
  3. Put pumpkin puree in a large bowl and mix in brown sugar and oil. Beat in the eggs.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add to pumpkin mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin tins and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes for mini muffins, 13 minutes for standard muffins.
  6. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool while you mix the glaze.  Drizzle glaze over warm muffins.
  7. Make yourself a cup of tea and let us know what team you’re on.

 

For questions, comments or fantastic spam, you can find me at jill@londonmoms

Tons of Free Programs Taking Place this Fall/Winter at London Libraries

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We recently posted about the Spectrum Fall/Winter 2014 Guide now being available. This guide offers hundreds and hundreds of programs taking place throughout the city for people of all ages, along with a simple way of registering. Similarly, the London Public Library recently released Access, a library magazine also listing tons of awesome programs and events for people of all ages that are taking place this fall and winter. With London being home to 16 different libraries, you can only imagine how many programs there are to choose from. What’s great about many of the programs and events put on by the public library is that they are drop in, meaning you don’t have to register in advance. Another great thing about the programs is that many are based on reading or educating. As if these aspects aren’t great enough, one last pro to these programs is that most of them are absolutely free!

This magazine can be viewed online by clicking here. Check out page 10 and onwards for a list of the programs. If you would like to search for the programs being held at a specific library, make note that the libraries are listed in alphabetical order. If you’re not sure which library is closest to you, all 16 are listed below.

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Experience Short-Track Racing at Delaware Speedway

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Here’s a down-the-road gift idea that someone would certainly never forget! Groupon currently has a deal for 50% off the price of a short-track racing experience at Delaware Speedway. The Delaware Speedway is one of Canada’s oldest racing tracks that is still operating. Located in Delaware about 25 minutes outside of London, the half-mile, paved track was built back in 1952. Delaware Speedway hosts races in many different divisions that spectators are welcome to come and watch.

But what if you want to hop in a real race car? That’s where this awesome Groupon deal comes in! There are three different deals being offered:

Shotgun ride-along experience: hop in the passenger seat and ride along with a professional driver for three laps! This package is $64 ($129 value).
“Taste of Speed” racing experience: get behind the wheel after a classroom instruction and speed your way around the track for 5 laps. This package is $99 ($199 value).
“The Shootout” racing experience: get behind the wheel after classroom instruction and speed your way around the track for 15 laps. This package is $179 ($449 value)

Those wishing to participate in the Shotgun ride along experience must be 17 years of age or older and between 5′ and 6’4″. Those wishing to drive the vehicle themselves must be 18 years of age or older and have a valid drivers license.

To purchase this Groupon or learn more, click here.

 

Freebie Alert: Doors Open Ontario

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On Saturday, September 27th and Sunday, September 28th, the public will have the opportunity to check out hundreds of art and heritage sites throughout the city for no charge. This event is called Doors Open Ontario. Doors Open Ontario gives families the chance to celebrate their city’s heritage and embrace it’s rich culture. Not only is this event free, but some of the sites participating in Doors Open Ontario are not usually open to the public – thus making the weekend all the more exciting. This year will mark London’s 13th year participating in Doors Open Ontario, making it one of the oldest host cities in Ontario.

By clicking here, you can check out all the different events that are taking place at hundreds of locations during Doors Open Ontario weekend. You can also pick up a guide at London Art’s Council, London Heritage Council Office, all London Public Library Branches, all London Community Centres, and Tourism London. Check out who is participating on what day at what time, and plan a schedule so that you can make the most of this once-in-a-year opportunity! Transportation shouldn’t be an issue, as you can purchase a family bus pass for just $5 for the entire day!

Free admission to the London Children’s Museum, flying demonstrations at the Jet Aircraft Museum, a first hand experience of what life was like in the 19th century at Fanshawe Pioneer village – these are just a few of the places to check out during Doors Open Ontario.

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Happening in London this Weekend

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Be sure to check out our events page if you are looking for some fun activities to do this weekend! Here are a few in particular to take note of:

Family Fun and Movie in the Park

Join Forest Green Community Club for the last Movie in the Park of the summer at Village Green Park on Friday, August 29th. At 6:30pm, there will be swimming at Forest Edge Community pool and a barbeque for $5 a person or $15 for a family. Beginning at dusk (approximately 9:30pm), a family friendly movie will be shown. Be sure to bring a blanket or lawn chair! Everyone is welcome for some Friday family fun!

UFC Experience Tour

Are you a UFC fan? Come by the Covent Garden Market Square on August the 30th between 11am and 4pm. The UFC Experience Tour is travelling to different Canadian cities, and London is one of the stops along the way! This event is meant to engage, educate and excite people about the sport of mixed martial arts and the UFC. People will have the opportunity to meet UFC fighters, learn about the mixed martial arts, participate in fun activities, and celebrate the sport.

My Little Pony at Storybook Gardens

Come to Storybook Gardens on Sunday, August 31st for My Little Pony’s live, interactive musical adventure. Shows will occur at 11am, 1pm and 3pm at the Village Stage. The show will feature Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, and Twilight Equestria Girl. This show is based on the importance of friendship and is sure to be an entertaining experience for everyone!

Labour Day Back 2 School Bash

Stop by the London Children’s Museum on Labour Day for a full day of fun before it’s time to head back to school! There will be minute to win it games, awesome crafts, an exciting scavenger hunt, and much more!

A1 Superhero Party

Imagine if your child’s favourite superhero walked through the door at their next birthday party – how exciting would that be for them? That would most definitely be an unforgettable experience, and at A1 Hero, that’s the goal! Located in London, A1 Hero strives to create fond, everlasting memories for children.

No matter who your child’s favourite superhero may be, there are a number of different party packages to choose from including:
-Star Warrior Academy Training Party
-The Amazing Spiderman Superhero Party
-The Avenging Superheroes Party
-The Bat Superhero Party
-The Man of Steel Superhero Party
-COMING SOON: The Ninja Turtles Superhero Party

As if one superhero wasn’t enough, some of the heroes will even bring their trusty sidekicks to the party! Each one hour party package has something different in store. Children will even get their own chance to be superheroes when villains arrive and they must help their superhero save the day! This interactive drama will allow your child to live out the scenes that they watch in movies and on television. No matter which superhero is in attendance, it is sure to be an exciting and exhilarating experience for everyone. The cost of each package ranges between $140 to $200. Face painting packages and birthday cake packages are also available at an additional cost. Planning a birthday for both boys and girls? No problem! A1 Hero can team up with My Perfect Princess Parties for a doubly awesome party featuring both princesses and superheroes!

A1 Hero serves London and the surrounding area. To learn more or to book a party, click here.

Youth Strength and Conditioning at Hybrid Fitness

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Do you have a fitness enthusiast between the ages of 10 and 13? Hybrid Fitness offers a strength and conditioning program for children in this age bracket who are looking to increase their health knowledge and general athleticism. This is a great program that gives youth the opportunity be physically active while also learning about the world of fitness and well-being.

This program is great for advanced athletes who are looking to up their game, yet also fitting for beginners who are looking to get some more physical activity and learn a thing or two. The program will teach youth how to stay mobile in order to steer clear of injuries, practice basic strength and coordination, as well as work on speed and power. This program is very holistic in that it teaches all the fundamentals of youth development in order to enable participants to reach their full potential. Whether your child is looking to excel in a sport or simply learn more about fitness and get active, this program is sure to be a lot of fun for them.

The program is 4 times per week, and participants can attend as little or many classes as they please. The classes take place Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30pm to 7:30pm and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm to 6pm. The cost is $80/month for unlimited classes.

All youth are invited to try a free class (with parental consent) before making any commitments and signing up for the program. To learn more, contact morgan@hybridfitness.ca.

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Discount: Back to School Haircuts at First Choice Haircutters

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In just a few weeks time, kids will be loading up their backpacks and heading back to school. This can be a hectic time for parents as they are rushing to get many things sorted out before that first day of school in September comes around. Back to school shopping can seem endless – supplies, clothes, shoes. The list goes on. Another task that is associated with that back to school time of year is getting a hair cut. What is your go-to salon for back to school haircuts for children?

First Choice Haircutters is offering a great back to school deal. Participating salons are offering a $3 discount for anyone who comes in for a haircut before September 26th. The only conditions are that customers must present a coupon and the haircut must take place between Monday to Friday. To print the coupon, click here.

There’s something in it for the kids, too, as any child aged twelve or younger will receive a rocket eraser at participating First Choice Haircutters salons while supplies last.

London has a wide variety of First Choice Haircutters who are participating in the coupon promotion, so hopefully there is one close to you! Check out the map below for all participating salons.

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Discount: Back to School Shoes

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One item that is usually at the top of back to school shopping lists is shoes. This was always my favourite part of school shopping – there’s something about a brand new pair of shoes that makes you feel incredible (and really fast)! I’ve noticed quite a few back to school shoe sales lately so I thought I would compile the deals for our moms to consider before venturing out for some new kicks!

Sport Chek

Sport Chek is holding a buy one, get one 50% off sale on select shoes. Purchase any pair of shoes and get a ticketed shoe of equal or lesser value for 50% off! Sport Chek is great for having a massive footwear selection to choose from, so this deal is pretty awesome for families who need to purchase more than one pair. Another great thing about this deal is that you can mix match between kid’s shoes, women’s shoes, and men’s shoes. This means that if the first pair of shoes is for your teenage daughter, you can still get a select boy’s pair for 50% off. Another perk of this deal is that it also is valid for many duffle bags and clothing items, so if you’re in the market for more than just shoes, you’re in luck! There are numerous Sport Chek locations in London.

Hyde Park Sport Chek – 1250 Fanshawe Park Road West
White Oaks Sport Chek – 1105 Wellington Road
Argyle Mall Sport Chek – 1925 Dundas Street East
Hyland Sport Chek – 1735 Richmond Street

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The Amazing Pace London

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Have you ever wished that you could participate in the reality television show The Amazing Race? Now is your chance, except you can do it right here in London! The Amazing Pace London is being held downtown on September 27th. In this urban adventure race, participants will be required to use their speed and wit to overcome challenges and find hidden checkpoints. Athletes and amateurs alike are welcome to participate! The first person to solve all the clues and make it back to the finish line is the winner! Don’t forget to wear your superhero costume.

Teams can consist of 2 people or 4 people. The cost to register is $25 per person, and the funds raised will go towards the Ontario Lung Association to help further lung research. Teams are also encouraged to raise funds, and as teams raise more and more money, they will receive more awesome prizes. Also, the more you raise, the closer you can get to first place! Teams of 4 will have 2 minutes taken off their race time for every $1000 raised and teams of 2 will have 2 minutes taken off their raise time for every $500 raised.

The Fox and the Fiddle at Citi Plaza is the headquarters location. The schedule will be as follows:

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